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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20400
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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I am a disabled veteran and was given a layoff from my job

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I am a disabled veteran and was given a layoff from my job at the local detention center as a deputy jailer. I asked for my job back 3 different times now and I am told that they do not have any work for me. But they have hired people to replace me without offering my job back. It has been a year now but I never received any unemployment and was denied a hire back. I have PTSD and feel I am being discriminated against.

Thank you for the information. Can you tell me why you never applied for, or received unemployment benefits? Are you in a union or does your former employer have a seniority system where employees have the right of rehire or bumping? Have you asked the employer why you have not been rehired while others are being hired for your former position? If so, what did they say?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I did apply and was denied unemployment. My father and I worked together side by side for 10 years. He killed himself March 15 of last year. I was offered a layoff to get his affairs in order. I never have been out of work so I did not know how to approach unemployment and was given no guidance. I told them I was laid off under extreme circumstances. I did not lie because work was available so unemployment took it as I quit. Even after several hearings over the phone and my former employer telling them I was on layoff I was denied again. I have never been given a direct answer of why I was not hired back. We are not union and they have no system of seniority. It is basically whoever can kiss up to the boss who gets ahead. Small town story I am sure you have heard of before. I have 2 honorable discharges from the military and I have doctors that are stating I am fit to return to my job. I thought it was illegal to not hire a veteran back that has job experience is why I contacted you. I have tried to get other jobs in this county as well but I am told they do not want someone like me who is on medication for depression. Maybe they think I will do what my father did but I feel it is just discrimination. What do you think?


Hello again Stephen and thank you for the additional information. I am sorry to read about the loss of your father. The term "layoff" is really a misnomer in this situation where there is no union and also because it sounds like you were actually no longer employed after you took time for your personal issues at home. The reason why that matters is that if you had been given an official leave of absence with a firm return date you would still be entitled to your job back. However, if you were let go completely and no longer an employee there would be no right to reinstatement without seniority or bumping rights.

So, then the issue becomes whether you are being passed over because you are a Veteran or because you have a disability. In either of those cases, that would be unlawful. However, if the reason is something else, like personality conflicts, or someone they think is a better fit, job wise, then that would not be unlawful.

You though can certainly file a disability and Veteran discrimination complaint with the Kentucky Human Rights Commission and/or the EEOC if you believe that your status as a Veteran or your PTSD is the reason you are not being rehired. You would want to also sit down with a local employment law attorney who can assist you locally in asserting your rights and helping you decide if you want to file suit or let the agencies I mentioned try to resolve this for you.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
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